Little Ads May Be The Next Big Thing

Today’s New York Times reports on the growing use of ads on cellphones.

Marketers said they were particularly excited about the prospect of eventually using cellphones, many of which are equipped with global positioning systems, to send ads to consumers based on their location. With that information, marketers could, in theory, send pitches from retailers to cellphone users who might be in the vicinity of a store.
Cellphone-based marketing could be “the silver bullet we’ve been looking for in advertising for a long time,” said Laura Marriott, executive director of the Mobile Marketing Association, a consortium of wireless carriers, ad agencies, technology companies and advertisers.
Jon Raj, vice president of advertising and emerging media with Visa USA, said he expected to see many new ad formats that could combine the text, video and the location-based nature of the phone.
“Unlike the computer, or a magazine or television,” he said, “the phone is a piece of you.”
That quality, which makes mobile marketing so powerful, could also make phone ads widely disliked and force carriers to use them very cautiously, said Edward Snyder, a financial analyst and co-founder of Charter Equity Research, where he covers the cellular phone industry.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. Indiana Gividen says:

    I would like to see how intrusive these cell phone ads will be. Will I strugle to answere my phone while driving down the highway only to find a fucking McDonalds pitch?

  2. What are they thinking exactly? Interrupting your call to give you audio ads? Send text messages (isn’t that just spam??) at random?
    Those are about the only two things I can think of. With cell phones in the states costing around $80USD/month after taxes the sales man at Best Buy lied to you about (and signed you up for a 2-year contract when you only signed papers for a 1), I would like to hope that will be the last straw.
    I like creative advertising, and hope to get into it after I finish school in design, but this is not creative, this is disastrous. The moment I get provider endorsed spam is the moment I’m done with cell phones.

  3. No one wants more spam, agreed. The Mobile Marketing Association is aware of that and so are the carriers. That’s why, in addition to CAN-SPAM federal law, they only send messages to those that opt-in. Check out You should be able to send keyword ‘Help’ to any of the codes and find out who they are. And you can’t be billed without acknowledging and accepting (double opt-in) this.
    Is there abuse? There always is some who find ways around rules, but it is very very low. Nothing like email spam.